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Old 08-17-2010, 11:12 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,922,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala26 View Post
Of Brian's route, I think the one I'm most skeptical of is the Downtown-Hill-Oakland leg. I think it would be a hard sell because there are frequent bus corridors along that leg and proposed improvements in the form of bus rapid transit, the T spine line, or even skybus-like personal rapid transit like the system currently in place in Morgantown, WV.
Just a guess, but I think we are likely to see Rapid Bus along the Fifth-Forbes corridor from Downtown through Oakland, and nothing else for quite a while. That may well be fine for connecting Downtown and Oakland, but it misses the Hill, and I think in the near future it will become clear how useful a line up the Hill then back down to Oakland would be.

Another way to put the point is that I have seen the comparisons of something like BRT along that route versus a subway under the Hill, and there are some obvious upsides to the subway under the Hill, but the incremental ridership numbers alone struggle to make up for the massive increase in cost. So this is a way of trying to capture some of those benefits without nearly as much in costs.

Quote:
However, on I do think the Oakland to South Side to Allentown-Beltzhoover leg has a lot of possibilities simply because of the lack of rational transit routes there and the difficulties posed by the terrain and river to build any other sort of conventional rapid transit system like the T or a busway. Wait around for a 54C or 75 bus sometime, or finally board one and just stew as it sits motionless in traffic and tell me improved transit isn't warranted in that area.
This is undoubtedly the more outside-the-box part of the proposal, and I honestly don't think it is even conceivable with existing technologies. Generally, that is the sort of question I am most interested in--what sorts of transportation connections could be provided that haven't even been considered to date in light of the limitations of other technologies?

But strategically, we may well have to start with something familiar to demonstrate what the technology can do, and at what cost. In other words, it may be too much to ask for people to embrace both a new technology and a new way of thinking about transportation patterns at the same time.

Last edited by BrianTH; 08-17-2010 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,718 posts, read 7,177,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post

I certainly think you could eventually want to use the current tunnel for trolleybuses as well. I guess I just see that as a different project from linking the East and West Busways.
it might be useful for it but as noted, it shouldn't come first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post

And it is possible you would do that--I just know the tunnel is making a turn north at Gateway and south at Wood, and I guess I am wondering if using that tunnel for that stretch would create more costs in terms of modifications, stoppages, and so on then it would be worth.
could be, it would have to be looked at, I just think it's worth looking at.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I'm thinking this tunnel likely needs to be bored, not done as cut-and-cover. In that case, I'm actually not sure what alignments are possible--maybe you could go even straighter than the current street grid allows.
boring isn't necessarily prohibitively expensive, it should be cheaper than going under a river.It's feasible to bore other than a street, don't know if it's legal to bore tunnels under buildings in PA (though diagonally through parks certainly).




Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Yeah, down the road it is tough to anticipate exactly what will make sense, and any and all of these ideas could be useful. I think you sketched out the initial steps pretty well, and from there we could do another evaluation of development patterns and needs for the next phase, and so forth.
yep.

would like to see even the initial steps be considered. theoretically, there's nothing stopping PAT from merging the routes next month no??
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
would like to see even the initial steps be considered. theoretically, there's nothing stopping PAT from merging the routes next month no??
Nope, and in fact the new G2 to Oakland uses the East Busway one way to get to Oakland:

http://www.portauthority.org/paac/ap...9052010/G2.pdf

At least that is a start.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:34 PM
 
Location: South Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
875 posts, read 780,451 times
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I'm with a few other users in this thread... I'm hoping we can gain some serious traction with this idea. I plan on seriously revisiting it again when I meet with the Allegheny County Transit Council sub-committee on Physical Planning. By the way, I was just nominated as a full-time member of ACTC!

Obviously more study is needed on something like this, but I remain convinced that some sort of trial system in the form of an Oakland-PTC-South Side route to start could actually fall in with a lot of favor for some folks (myself included of course). Any idea that takes away unpleasant bus transfers and replaces them with a more comfortable and enjoyable one like this that wouldn't cost and arm and a leg could be just what the doctor ordered.
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:20 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,922,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala26 View Post
I'm with a few other users in this thread... I'm hoping we can gain some serious traction with this idea. I plan on seriously revisiting it again when I meet with the Allegheny County Transit Council sub-committee on Physical Planning. By the way, I was just nominated as a full-time member of ACTC!
Congratulations! And you can now look forward to people like me lobbying you even more.

Quote:
Obviously more study is needed on something like this, but I remain convinced that some sort of trial system in the form of an Oakland-PTC-South Side route to start could actually fall in with a lot of favor for some folks (myself included of course). Any idea that takes away unpleasant bus transfers and replaces them with a more comfortable and enjoyable one like this that wouldn't cost and arm and a leg could be just what the doctor ordered.
That sounds great--I'm really quite confident that if we start with something like that, we will quickly start planning to do quite a bit more (that, at least, has been the pattern so far in cities which have tried it).
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,969 posts, read 5,614,807 times
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This idea sounds cool as hell. From what I saw of Pittsburgh, it would really be a fabulous way to get around, and it would add to the mystique and rebranding of the Burgh. Best of luck with it. To further the Portland, Oregon comparisons, I believe Portland already has an aerial tram:

Portland Aerial Tram Home Page

I recall as a boy that the monorail in Seattle was considered supercool by everyone up and down the West Coast. I've never even seen it, but am still impressed. Here's to cooking up something like that for your town (hoists Oregon IPA in salute to West Alleghenian brethren).
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:19 AM
 
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The branding issue is a nontrivial consideration for me. I think the technology is solid enough that in 20-30 years or so, this would be viewed as a standard move, like streetcars or buslanes are viewed today. But I think Pittsburgh has an opportunity to get out ahead of the pack a bit, in part because it is such a good fit for the technology. In addition to reinforcing our new high-tech/innovation image, it would also be an environmental/green thing, would emphasize our rivers and hills, and so on.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,969 posts, read 5,614,807 times
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Agreed. With its world-class universities and such, it would be cool if Pittsburgh had some more wow things from the future instead of from the wealth of days gone by. And I agree, it would be a spectacular city for a gondola type transport idea.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:31 PM
 
1,158 posts, read 983,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impala26 View Post
I'm with a few other users in this thread... I'm hoping we can gain some serious traction with this idea. I plan on seriously revisiting it again when I meet with the Allegheny County Transit Council sub-committee on Physical Planning. By the way, I was just nominated as a full-time member of ACTC!

Obviously more study is needed on something like this, but I remain convinced that some sort of trial system in the form of an Oakland-PTC-South Side route to start could actually fall in with a lot of favor for some folks (myself included of course). Any idea that takes away unpleasant bus transfers and replaces them with a more comfortable and enjoyable one like this that wouldn't cost and arm and a leg could be just what the doctor ordered.
Congrats! way to go Impala26!!
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:37 PM
 
Location: South Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
875 posts, read 780,451 times
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During my bike ride today on the goat paths called "streets" on the South Side slopes, I couldn't help but think of your urban gondola plan once again, Brian. It really could make the slopes even more vibrant and amazing.

We'll just have to make sure it can accommodate for bikes like the incline...
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